70-foot-tall field lights are at Malibu High to stay

Judge denies request by residents to block 70-foot-tall athletic field lights at Malibu High

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has denied a request by Malibu residents to block 70-foot-tall athletic field lights at Malibu High School.

The 2012 lawsuit originally sought to block the construction of the lights. Since then, the lights were built and have been in use for the last three school years, court documents note.

The Malibu Community Preservation Alliance argued in the lawsuit that the lights would disturb the neighborhood’s natural environment. Plaintiffs challenged the Malibu City Council's right to grant a permit for the lights without first putting the decision in front of a planning commission. They also argued that the city had skirted required environmental procedures.    

L.A. Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin Jr. wrote in his decision earlier this month that the Planning Commission was “legally prevented from acting on” the lights application “due to the absence of a disinterested quorum” -- three of the panel's five members recused themselves because of conflict of interest.

The judge also wrote that the city “did not abuse its discretion in approving the field lights.”

In a statement, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Supt. Sandra Lyon said the district was satisfied with the judge's ruling.

“Our students will continue to have the opportunity to use this venue to support their educational and extracurricular aspirations,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to be a great neighbor in Malibu while making sure Malibu children have access to a great public education experience.”

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